Lou Holtz earned his reputation as a successful college football coach at Notre Dame. After retiring from coaching, he worked as an analyst at ESPN for years before leaving in 2015. In recent years, Holtz has become known for his political appearances and has been an outspoken supporter of outgoing President Donald Trump.
A few months ago, the former coach appeared on Fox News and talked about the pandemic and its effect on teams playing college football. At one point, he compared playing football in a pandemic to soldiers storming the beaches at Normandy. Now, the 83-year-old has tested positive for the virus.
Lou Holtz’s successful career as a college football coach
Lou Holtz made his coaching debut in 1969 at William & Mary. He steadily moved his way up the coaching ranks and, in 1986, became the head coach at Notre Dame. Holtz coached for 11 seasons in South Bend, the apex of his career coming in just his third season with the Fighting Irish when the team went undefeated at 12-0 and won the national title in 1988.
Holtz fielded two more Irish squads that finished at No. 2 before he surprisingly left in 1996 for undisclosed reasons. After two seasons working with CBS Sports, Holtz returned to coaching in 1999 at South Carolina. With the Gamecocks, he never achieved anywhere near the level of success he had with Notre Dame, and retired from coaching after the 2004 season.
Lou Holtz joined ESPN the following year and worked as a college football analyst with the Worldwide Leader for 10 seasons before departing in 2015.
Lou Holtz becomes involved in politics
While Lou Holtz stopped appearing on television to talk about college football, he hasn’t stepped out of the spotlight. Instead, he’s moved into the conservative media space and has become a guest on Fox News, regularly appearing on shows like Hannity and other programming.
In July, Lou Holtz appeared on Fox News with Laura Ingraham and made an interesting comparison between college football being played during a pandemic with Normandy.
“They just don’t want to have sports,” Holtz told Ingraham. “There’s no way in this world you can do anything that’s without a risk. People stormed Normandy. I took some grandchildren over there. They knew there were gonna be casualties. They knew there were gonna be risks. But it was a way of life.”
In August, Holtz appeared at the Republican National Convention where he openly questioned the faith of president-elect Joe Biden, who is Catholic. A day after Holtz’s remarks, the president of Notre Dame made a statement that the university did not endorse his views.
Former coach tests positive for COVID-19
Lou Holtz, who President Trump announced in September would be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the future, told ABC Columbia in South Carolina that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“I don’t have a lot of energy right now,” Holtz said.
Lou Holtz’s diagnosis comes a little over a month after legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden tested positive and had to spend a week in the hospital. Interestingly, Bowden has also been an ardent Trump supporter, even indicating he wanted to recover from the virus so he could vote for the incumbent on Nov. 3.